In Under My Skin, my main character Juliet is a medium. She can sense, speak to and even help the dead. Until she can’t. Like so many with special talents, those talents often do not extend into their own lives. Juliet can speak to just about any deceased person willing to talk to her, but she can’t contact her dead fiancé.
She’s not sure if it’s a block on her part or just against the cosmic rules, but that little bit of inability—the kind of inability that humbles a person—brought an endearing quality to Juliet. As I wrote her I found my heartstrings tugging for her. Makes it sound as if I really don’t control this ride we call fiction, right? Well, truth be told…often I don’t.
House bought for a steal online when it turns out there’s a damn good reason—check.
Malicious ghost with a body count to his name—check.
Sad, lingering female spirit pining for her still living (but currently dying) fiancé—check.
What’s a widowed medium to do when a departed soul asks to ride piggy back in her body?
To share her space and get under her skin? Juliet Bale does the only thing she can do—with her twin sister’s good counsel—she lets Lanie share her body to help her dying beloved Elijah cross over. The problem is that with all the reuniting, and sharing one body, things get seriously intimate and Juliet can’t help but see exactly why Elijah Rivers was so beloved.
It’s so wrong to sorta kinda fall for a dying man, and yet—check.
Excerpt from Under My Skin by Sommer Marsden
I was nearly on the property when I happened to glance up and see my attic window. A white “O” of a face pressed to the glass. I knew in an instant it was Lanie, the spirit trying to get in my head and my heart. And the dark figure behind her, not clearly visible but easily felt by me, was the Master of the house, Montgomery.
“Right,” I muttered, feeling a little buzzy from the several drinks I’d had. I almost wished I was a bit more buzzed because then I could go in and just go to sleep like a normal person. But I’m not a normal person. Haven’t been one since…forever.
That thought made me laugh, and I did something I rarely let myself do. I talked to Justin. “You were a cop. Do you think this guy did it?”
I knew the answer in my heart, I just needed to talk to my partner. I hadn’t really dated since Justin had been killed in the line of duty. A few attempts at dating here and there, a few overnighters with nice men that left me somehow sadder after the fact. I simply wasn’t ready for a relationship. Or even sex. And certainly nothing that resembled a melding of the two.
The fine hairs on my scalp seemed to tremble, and I let myself for one minute hope that it was him contacting me, but I quickly let the thought go. Doubtful. Highly doubtful. Maybe I simply wasn’t allowed.
“Well, if you do think he did it, watch my back, okay, babe? He’s a creepy bastard and clearly—at least to me—a killer. He killed that maid and now it sounds as if he killed the laundress. A woman-hater from what I can tell, killing women, calling them whores…sounds like mommy issues.” I snorted, but that was just nerves, and I damn well knew it. “I mean, the mistress of the house didn’t look too pleased in that photo, now did she?”
I waited and nothing but silence greeted me.
“I love you,” I whispered quickly, then went into my new home.
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